Tales from the Northland

It’s Sunday afternoon, and all is quiet on the northern front – at least now it is!  We just finished watching the Vikings/Cowboys game (B, you would be proud of my Cowboy blue sweater among all the purple and gold!) and it was a wild time at the Stranz’s!  Their beloved Vikings beat – yea, slaughtered – the Cowboys, and they were beside themselves with excitement and delight, and their exuberance was at times deafening!

Now Bo, Emily, Arulai and I have repaired to their lovely home for a bit of respite.  A.J. is asleep, Em is reading, Bo is making oatmeal (who knows…) and I am writing to you.

The plane trip here was fairly uneventful.  I boarded the smallest plane I’ve ever seen, and told my seat-mate that I am entirely too large to be riding in this plane!  My height plus my breadth seemed enormous as I walked down the narrow aisle to find my seat!  There weren’t a great many passengers aboard this flight (I know, who goes to Minnesota in January?) so I ended up in a two-seat space by myself.  The only issue I had at all was with my left ear.  I had felt both ears adjusting to the altitude changes, and thought I had passed through this part with very little to no discomfort when suddenly it felt as though an ice pick were being plunged through my left eardrum!!!  Seriously, it was horrible!  I kept praying for it to finally pop, and when I didn’t think I could stand it any longer, it did!  Ahhhhh, the relief!!  Then the pain went away completely and I was fine the rest of the flight.  I can even still hear in that ear!

Nathanael, Emily and Arulai met me at the baggage area, and my little precious granddaughter searched the crowd until she found me, and ran with delight to her Nonnie.  And her Nonnie was hastening toward her, too, believe me!  To be honest, I was just about overcome with joy at seeing all three of them!  After hugs all around, we immediately went in search of food, then came home thinking we were all tired enough to just fall into bed and begin our visit in the morning.  Of course, that didn’t happen.  We got a surprise visit from Emily’s mama, Pam, and then Emily and I stayed up another hour at least.  Bo was there in spirit, but his exhaustion overcame him and he fell asleep on the fold-out couch that was to be my bed.  We did get everyone in their own beds eventually!

Thursday morning Emily and I got up anticipating a trip to the Mall of America and a bit of grocery shopping, but our Mall trip just didn’t happen.  Instead, we slowed our pace and went to eat lunch with Nathanael, then grocery shopping on the way home.  After putting all the groceries away we walked over to the Stranz’s home for dinner.  That was far more an adventure to me than going to the Mall of America – walking around the block in the snow!  It was amazing – and beautiful!  I truly wouldn’t want to live with this kind of cold so many months of the year that these folks do, but this trip with all this snow has been a pleasure for me.  It’s simply been wonderful.

The Stranz home is a delight to be in.  I was able to see Barry (Dad Stranz) for a few moments before he drove out of town for his work, and then spend some [relatively] quiet time visiting with Pam (Mom Stranz) as the rest of the family moved in and out of the room.  The evening was capped off with E.J. playing his guitar and singing for us – as Arulai danced.  What fun it has been to see how these kids have grown and matured since I saw them last!

Friday, Emily, Pam and I went to lunch at The Good Earth restaurant.  It was really good food, very nice atmosphere, and great company!  We all hated to leave!  Friday night was Emily’s one work night, so Arulai and I planned to stay home together and wait for Nathanael to come home.  I got to cook dinner for us, and we really enjoyed our quiet evening, even though we hated that Emily had to be away!  Bo did go visit Em and take her some dinner, so she got a cheery moment in her evening, too.  Another joyous aspect to our evening was Sara’s visit.  Arulai calls her Sarabody (her last name is Lightbody) and Arulai, Sarabody, and I enjoyed lots of talk, music, giggles, and food together. 

I want to go on and on about more of my stay here, but I think I’ll post some of the pics I have and try to post again when I get home.  My visit here ends Tuesday afternoon, and I am trying hard to focus on the hours I have left and not on the leaving! 

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Bo and Em’s really cute house.  It is a duplex, and they have the bottom floor.

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This is their wonderful front porch.  As my hubby would say, it has great potential!  Since they moved in basically in the winter, they haven’t had opportunity to do anything with it, but I can’t wait until our June visit – it will be an amazing space!

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The living room with their new furniture.  The couch makes out into a bed, which I have claimed for my visit.

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She kept the Christmas tree up for me, and it is truly one of the prettiest trees I’ve ever seen.  Notice the space heater near the computer – my nice, warm friend!!

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This gives a broader view of their home and neighbors.  Look at all that snow!

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This is looking down their street to the right of their house.

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Now to the left.  The whole area is covered with snow, and this is what we walked through when we went to the Stranz’s.  Only it was dark, and everything was almost like a Christmas movie!

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As you can see, it’s bath time.  “Take pitcher a my toes, Nonnie!”

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“Take pitcher a my silly face!”

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“Take pitcher a my nose!”

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“Take pitcher a my mouth!”

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Now we’re jammied up and ready for winding down time.

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Pictures with Sarabody

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“Take pitcher funny face!”

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“Take pitcher a my hair!”

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My pretty girl

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“Mommy’s home!!!”  Butterfly kisses for Mama!

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Sweet, sweet!

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Time for bed – but first, a toast!

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Bottoms up!

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My son has no concept of winding down.  He gets her so riled up before bed, it’s a wonder the child sleeps at all!

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“Take pitcher a Baby, Nonnie!”

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Baby must have needed a new pose.

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“Take pitcher Baby’s head!”

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“Play catch, Daddy!”

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Yay, A.J. caught it! 

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Now it’s time for prayers.  Amazingly enough, she went right to sleep! 

I have enjoyed such a precious visit with my kids this week.  Yesterday we went to the National Eagle Center – AMAZING!!  Today I had the privilege of worshiping with their church, and what a time of worship, teaching, and discussion we had.  I came away blessed, for sure, and I believe God was glorified.  Tomorrow, Arulai, Emily and I are going to the Zoo, and I can’t wait!  I will probably not post anymore until I get back home.  My family has assured me that all is well there, which has truly allowed me to be “all here” during my visit.  It has been good!

God bless your day!



About Petty Bunch

The Petty Bunch is what we have called our family since Bill and I (Janina) began our family back in the early 1980s. We have gone down many roads together - homeschooling our kiddoes, enjoying the freedom of entrepreneurship many years, working at "real jobs" other years. Through it all, we have been loved with God's everlasting love, and have found that underneath are His everlasting arms! We are blessed to have been married for over 36 years, and have 3 incredible adult children, a wonderful daughter-in-law, an amazing son-in-law, and SEVEN grandchildren: four precious granddaughters, three handsome grandsons - so far. We are empty nesters, still enjoy the life of an entrepreneur and the freedom it gives us to continue enjoying our kids and now, their kids!
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10 Responses to Tales from the Northland

  1. it’s been so fun to have you! i vote we make this a monthly occurrence, yes? 🙂

  2. ABAHM says:

    So wonderful to think of you there and see the pretty neighborhood they live in.  Isn’t it wonderful to be able to spend time with them there and picture them in their home?  We just got back from our Daniel and Heidi’s home and it is so great to know what their new place looks like.  It was an overnight trip so we are tired, but will go back in late spring.

  3. redladybug18 says:

    sounds like a wonderful visit!  The snow looks so fun but oh so cold!  Here’s to having a safe trip back!

  4. Bettyeboop says:

    Your trip sounds wonderful. The pics, especily those of Roo are so good. The expression on her face is simply joyous. I can actually see the two of you greeting in the Irport. It warms my heart. Continue having your wonderful visit and I pray you have a safe trip home. Iuv u!

  5. It sounds like so much fun! And I love their porch with all of the windows! It really does have a ton of potential for so many things.Enjoy the rest of your stay!

  6. AuntGen says:

    Can’t wait to hear it all first-hand.  We’re all still very good, and I’m wishing your visit didn’t have to be so short.  I’m speaking for myself, mind you.  Love and miss you,  Gen

  7. Mommy2Drew says:

    Awwwwwwwwww!!! I hope you enjoy EVERY second you have left!! My family lives 800 miles away in Georgia so I totally understand making the THE MOST of every moment you have!! I’m sure many many sweet memories were made!! 🙂

  8. So wonderful!!! I’m so happy for all of you! I loved every single picture… but it just made me miss them even more…..! : (

  9. DubyaDC says:

    WAY TO GO VIKINGS!  Oops, did I say that too loud? 

  10. pettybunch says:

    @DubyaDC – You couldn’t possibly be any louder than sitting in the Stranz’ living room with an entire room of Vikings fans!!!!!

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